'Cricketers are easy to work with'

G. Krishnaswamy

She is the glamorous face of the Punjab team in the Indian Premier League. In this interview to Sportstar, the Bollywood star, Priety Zinta, talks of her love for cricket and the concept of IPL.

Question: What was your experience in dealing with some of the cricket stars?

The cricketers are easy to work with, are young, full of energy and passionate about the game. They are as much excited about the IPL as I am. They are down-to-earth and warm human beings.

What attracted you to the IPL?

This was the first time the BCCI was privatising cricket — a game that is so popular that it won’t be wrong to say that our country thrives on this sport. The Twenty20 format is brilliant; it binds sport and entertainment in a classical way.

What are the positives of this concept?

The Twenty20 format and the IPL mark a new beginning of the future of sports in India, particularly cricket. Generally parents are apprehensive about their children taking up sports as a career but with this format up and running and different clubs being formed, more and more money will be invested in the game. Earlier, a person, who had the passion for the game and wanted to be a sportsman, could not pursue his dream considering that he would not be able to financially sustain himself and his family. But with this format coming up he does not have to think like this anymore because of the kind of money being invested in the game now. Hence, Twenty20 format holds a bright future for cricket in India.

Is it purely a business proposition for you or is it a step towards greater involvement with cricket in the future?

I would say that both the business proposition aspect and my passion for cricket go hand-in-hand and therefore I am part of IPL today. I, along with my partners, intend to create a team which is extremely valuable and we will give all it takes — time, energy and resources — for the love of the game! Fans do not care about balance sheets; spectators are at the heart of this game and without them, there can be no business. Having said that, I would say that nothing can be followed without passion — be it cricket or business.

What are the strong points of your team?

Kings XI Punjab is a perfect blend of big proven names and local talent. The main strength of Kings XI Punjab is its youth. The average age of the Mohali team is just 24.7 years, hence the energy and passion in the players. Also it is a very well balanced team as on one hand we have young players like Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla and Irfan Pathan and on the other we have experienced names like Tom Moody. We feel so lucky to have Moody in our side.